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Old Stone Square Building

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1982–1985, Edward Larrabee Barnes. 31 South Main St.

The sleek skyscraper across the street is carefully detailed and interesting as an exercise in squares and cubes which culminates in the big cube of space at the entrance. This frames the facade of the Benoni Cooke House opposite, while the squares organizing the elevation create taller than normal office spaces inside. But the building is also clumsily boxy overall and was vigorously opposed when built because it harshly abuts and obscures buildings on College Hill rising immediately behind it. The informal park beside it, however pleasant, might more forcefully have taken its cue from the geometry of this skyscraper and the axiality implicit in the domed centerpiece of the older buildings.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Old Stone Square Building", [Providence, Rhode Island], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Rhode Island, William H. Jordy, with Ronald J. Onorato and William McKenzie Woodward. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, 63-63.

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